Are you thinking of putting up a dental clinic in Utah? This list of facts is for you. The goal is to help you set aside the misconceptions that hound your profession and business, especially when it comes to the pickiest clients: children.
1. Many Kids Are Not Scared of the Dentist
One of the common beliefs both parents and dentists have is that children are afraid of them. They are frightened of “people in white coats.” Dental anxiety, especially among children, is real. This group, though, makes up only 20% of the population.
You can also refer to this 2011 study. Among the respondents, more than 76% had already seen a dentist. Within this group, over 63% said they liked their experience. Only 12% revealed they were afraid.
Children can develop fear for a variety of reasons. More often than not, it all boils down to two things: perception and experience. Dental clinics that provide a pleasant experience for the children from the moment they come in until they leave are less likely to deal with dental anxiety.
2. Dental Clinic Design Matters
The same 2011 research revealed the preferences of children when it comes to their clinic. According to them, they want these places to be aesthetically pleasing or well designed. It implies that dental clinics should pay attention not only to their service but also to their fit-outs or interior design.
One of the common mistakes dental clinics make is to put up kiddie posters around the space. This somehow ignores the fact children age and can quickly outgrow the look.
You can discuss with a Utah medical construction team about how to go about the design. You can also consider adding the following elements:
- A kiddie lounge complete with bean bags
- A dental chair with a good view of a TV screen
- Vibrant colors perhaps on the wall (e.g., yellow, orange, pink, or green)
- Vending machines
3. Utah Has One of the Highest Number of Children
Utah is one of the states with the highest population growth. Census data revealed that it ballooned by 14.4%. Only Washington DC beat it at 16%. Still, it’s significantly higher than the national average, which is 6%.
Natural births have been declining in the country, and Utah isn’t immune to it. However, it still has one of the highest average number of children per household at 2.32. For dental clinics, that’s good news. It means the industry is still extremely lucrative in the state, especially for those that specialize in pediatric or family dentistry.
4. Many Children Don’t Have Insurance Coverage
Unfortunately, Utah is also one of the states with the most number of uninsured children. Based on the report from Georgetown University for Children and Families, at least 72,000 kids didn’t have health insurance in 2018. That’s over a 20% increase since 2016.
Many factors contribute to the growth, including the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and delays in Children’s Health Program funding. This is critical information for dental clinics, which might need to provide concessions for both low-income parents and children.
Oral health is vital, particularly for children who need to develop better dental habits. These facts can hopefully guide you as you do your job or design your clinic for this clientele.